"I don't need SEO. Everyone around here knows my business."
It's something that I've heard a lot from small business owners.
I started WebSpark Digital, a digital marketing agency for small businesses, with the idea that digital marketing could really help the Local Small Business community. I still firmly believe that SEO is a necessary part of running a local business too. In the 7 years of digital marketing experience I possess, I have seen businesses thrive and fail due to SEO (or the lack thereof).
Local SEO Is Necessary For Successful Business
Local search is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses, but sadly, many small business owners don't see the value in perfoming SEO or digital marketing. It's a general thought that if the business has been there for at least a couple years and survived, then they're doing well enough.
Some owners won't do SEO because they think everyone knows them and they're the only business in town (enter ego trip here). Others won't do it because another agency has burned them in the past. Many just don't know how SEO can help, and just see it as another expense.
The truth to doing Local SEO isn't what you might think
Business owners tend to think that doing SEO improvements on a small business site is done just to bring in more traffic to the site. Restaurant owners that don't have an online ordering system are the most likely not to understand why it's necessary. "I don't need more traffic, no one can order from my site."
Some of the businesses that I've talked to don't see the fundamental relationship between doing SEO and bringing customers in and increasing sales.
Alot of the owners have heard that they could be missing sales by NOT doing SEO. There are some digital agencies claim that the small business might be losing 80% of their sales. A few of the pitches I've heard almost sound like high-pressure scare-to-sell tactics you'd expect from a boiler room call center.
Most Savvy Business Owners Know This Isn't The Whole Story
Successful local business people are successful because they know their business.
You'll lose credibility by telling them they're losing 80% of their business by not signing up for your digital marketing services. They know where their customers are coming from. They know how to get new ones. Their website isn't a primary sales tool -- the business owner is.
So Why Do Local SEO?
Local SEO is done with the intent of bringing a business' listing up in the local search results. Owners tend to see how this will help their businesses. Most customers don't usually use local search to find new businesses. Think about how you find businesses in your area. Generally, you know exactly who your looking for and need the business address to put into Google maps. You might need the phone number, or just check to see if they're open. Locals don't just "explore" their town through Google.
The only time that locals will use a search engine to find a new business is when they're sick and tired of the one they've been using, or that business has closed down.
This is when Local SEO is so very important.
Being right in front of that disgruntled customer that's ready to leave the other business at the right time is crucial.
In the restaurant world, a person may be sick of eating burgers at one restaurant and want something new.
People will look for new landscapers as soon as the current one misses a spot cutting the grass.
Married people that are sick and tired of their marriage will look endlessly for the best lawyer to represent them (that they can afford).
This is where the power of Local SEO is really found.
When people search, they're looking to solve a problem. You might have the answer they need and want, but if your site isn't optimized correctly to focus on the solution, chances are they'll pass you by for another business.
How do you think they make a choice of what business they want to use? It's not your smiling face, they don't know you. It's not because you're a local business either.
They choose based on the listing they see in Google. It's that simple.
If you're business website isn't optimized correctly, it's very possible that you won't get a call or have them stop in. Chances are even more likely that they won't even visit your website to see what you offer. With pages and pages of similar businesses to yours on Google, you have some stiff competition, and those that invest in doing SEO locally will almost always do better than businesses that don't.
WebSpark Digital Focuses On The Solution - Introducing SparkLocal™
We like to think of ourselves as the "solution experts." We pay attention to the complaints the competition receives. By working with our client, the business owner, we come up with solutions to the problems people have with other businesses in the same space. Those solutions are the foundation for WebSpark's local SEO services, dubbed SparkLocal™. Through this process, more people will click through to a website that seems to address and answer their problems.
Since my client knows their business and competitors best, we come up with a list of the problems that people have in general, and work with the client in address the problems and coming up with the solutions. We take those answers and formulate a powerful SEO campaign around the problem/solution.
While other digital agencies spend client money on those older techniques of local SEO that don't work well anymore, WebSpark Digital maximizes ROI by putting your business and your potential customers first.
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